Online Dating Sites Really Stink at Finding You a Match

online datingFor those of you who met your sig oth, fiance, or heck, your spouse online, be thankful. You beat the system. For new research has emerged that online dating ... is a steaming pile of poppycock.

A new study that was published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest states: "Because human beings are complicated and multifaceted, two individuals who resemble each other in one way (e.g., they both love big parties) are unlikely to resemble each other in every way (political conservatism). [Hence], there is little reason to believe that current compatibility algorithms are especially effective."

So, there you have it. However, online dating is good for one thing.

Meeting people. I know, sounds kind of oxymoronic, but hear me out. If you're single, mathematical odds are, the more people you meet, the more likely you are to meet your Mr. or Mrs. Perfect -- I.E., if you spend all day and night cooped up in your one-bedroom walk-up in Brooklyn watching 90210 reruns and eating Amy's Organic frozen meals, your odds of meeting someone are, like, zero. But, if you go out to a party or for Skinnygirl margs with friends, your odds automatically increase, just because you're around people. Same thing works with online dating. Sort of. 

The more people you meet online -- and go on dates with -- the more likely you are to meet someone you actually like. Right? (Yeah, the more likely you are to have god-awful, no good, terrible dates, too, but you get my point.)

However, as smart as computers are, I don't find this study surprising in the slightest, as there's just no algorithm that can match two people together. Computers just don't have it in them. Like the science people said, just because you have "things" in common doesn't mean you're going to hit it off.

I think the success of online dating -- and probably the continued success -- lies in the fact that it's something that gets people out there. We're all busy people with jobs to go to and shows to watch, it isn't easy to meet people. Doing it through the computer is convenient. And although you'll probably have to electronically kiss a lot of toads, odds are, eventually you'll meet your match. Mathematically speaking.

Have you done online dating?


Image via soundlessfall/Flickr

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mande... manderspanders

I met my husband on Plenty of Fish in October 2009. He's perfect enough for me.

I had a lot of bad dates, but why would that have been different in any other situation? Eharmony and Match didn't give me any good matches at all... At least Plenty of Fish is free...so I didn't have to pay to be matched with toads.

Kristina Lawler Funk

Yep.  Once. He and I will be married for 10 years at the end of this month. :)

WowIl... WowIllbeamom11

Yes, and all I met were creeps! I met my husband in college.

nonmember avatar Shannon

I haven't, but my father-in-law met his second wife that way. She was only the third woman he'd gone on a date with since my husband's mom passed away. They've been married for 4 years and still act like newlyweds.

Aeris... AerisKate

My brother met his wife on an online dating site.  They are perfect for each other and have been married for almost 7 years. 

nonmember avatar Not A Mom

I met my current significant other on OkCupid. We just moved in together and are still going strong.

We did not meet each other through the match system, in fact, we weren't a terribly high match at all and had a 25% "enemy" match, but we though that each other were cute and rated each other highly during random rating sessions. (You rate people just on pictures and their description, but you get no other info about them.) Had I actually been looking for matches I probably would have skipped him because of our low compatibility rating, so there is definitely something to be said about the computer algorithms nor predicting compatibility.

Bulle... Bullet_Proof_Me

I met my (now) husband on Match.com. He's the only guy I even met from the site that I met in real life though I emailed with two or three others. We've been together for five years, married for two.

nonmember avatar Come Again?

I tried it once and only met psychos and con-artists. I fell for one, ignored my instincts, and later saw him for what he was. Funny thing is, he complained about how he kept meeting women on the site who threw themselves at him for money and he later tried to swindle me out of my own.

Never again! I'll stick with going out or meeting guys my friends have thoroughly examined.

Andre Starr

When it comes to online dating, patience is important. Don't give up easily but definitely trust your instincts.

nonmember avatar LizH

I gave both eHarmony and Match.com a whirl for about three months each. Online dating just isn't for me. It feels a bit too much like car shopping (oh, this one likes this! that one likes that!). I went out on two dates with two different guys that I met through Match. One was a bomb and the other I'm friends with (no chemsitry). I guess I just have trouble relating to people through just a profile and a few email exchanges. Funnily enough, I'm now dating a guy I met online, but through a game. We've known each other for almost two and a half years. I'm not exactly sure what's different about that experience other than the fact the game didn't have anything at all to do with finding love. Maybe I was just being picky with my dating website matches, but it ended up just being disappointing and frustrating for me (matching on paper, but not in person). I guess it just doesn't work for some people. I love hearing stories from people it does work for though!

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